|Sister Wood sporting BYU from head to toe while riding her method of transportation - These are typically used only in the rice fields, but today it was used to ride across town.|
This title was the first thing that came to my mind when I thought of what to title this email hahaha. Please, I hope people know where this saying comes from. (hannah montana movie) It has nothing to do with my email though.
So, first off I would like to say that I hope that everyones life is treating you well at home! If not, remember that God loves you. That is something I have to remember alot here. As a missionary I am still a human and so imperfect. Sometimes I feel like people may get the impression that all of the experiences I have had so far on my mission have been a walk in the park to get used to or may thing that I am so tough. Well, if you know me really well, you probably know that I don't have a high tolerance for pain. In fact I am a big baby. A BIG baby haha. Lets be real, getting stepped on the toes with cleats or getting kicked with a frozen soccer ball in the cold is the most painful thing of my life haha. The the "pain" or hardness here isn't technically physical pain (okay yeah sometimes), it definitely is emotionally and mentally and spiritually hard! Even though the mission probably won't help me be able to tolerate physical pain, I know that mentally and emotionally and spiritually, Heavenly father is helping me become strong and helping me become a lot more tolerant (oh and probably tolerable haha) to all of the frustrations and hardships that I am weak at. I definitely have a long way to go. This last month in Aparri has been the most humbling and difficult time for me. I have discovered things about myself I never knew. This stuff is proof to me that the Lord is shaping me into who he wants me to be. One of the most difficult things for me right now is the language.When I was in Laoag I really thought I was good! That it was all down hill from there. It wasn't that hard! Well, I feel like I left my knowldege of Tagalog in Laoag because I feel like I am back to square one in the MTC! It has been so hard for me to accept that I am horrible at Tagalog. My whole life I have been able to just catch on to things, so not being able to get this down makes me want to scream! But I have had to humble myself and realize, "okay, you think you can do anything, but you aren't getting anywhere until you turn and rely on the Lord." This small bit of time has made me stronger and more tolerable in every way and I know that God's promise to us in Ether 12:27 is true! That if we humble ourselves and have faith, He will make weak things become strong. Whether a missionary, or a mom, or dad, or son, or daughter, life will never be easy. It was always be hard. But, "Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus christ," (2 timothy 2:3) and we will see His influence and love along the journey. I am so grateful for all of these experiences I am having. I wouldn't trade it for anything! Haha well, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. It was something I was pondering and reflecting on during my personal study this week, and so i wanted to share it with you!
Whew! This week has been rockin. Many things went on just like every other week.
First things first, we moved into our new apartment. Man, it was a long process. It took us 1 full day and I am still not done unpacking my junk. My companion is super OCD so I am sure she is freaking out on the inside, but I am just like whatever. I really love the new place it is so nice. The whole place is still under construction so there are workers there everyday. We got there the first day and it wasn't very clean. We had to re-clean it. Well I got in the bathroom, yes this was the part i was actually looking forward to! Go in there, no toilet seat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was the only thing I wanted. So there was a normal toilet, but no seat. Like what's the point? Yeah i walked out and asked the workers if we could please get a toilet seat on our toilet. I want to enjoy my time while I am in the bathroom since I haven't been able to the last month! They took care of it. :) I don't really know why they even let us move in cause there were so many little things not quite right, so they had to keep coming into our apartment to fix stuff. But all is well now. Oh and not to mention, the keys they gave us didn't open our door, so the 3rd night we were there we got home and were completely locked out of our place. That is why there is the picture of the elders there because they had to climb up the wall into our back door, and literally hit the door so hard the lock would break. And they did it, so our door is a little broken, so the workers had to fix that too! Their fault haha. Since our apartment is still a construction site, we still do get to stand on our balcony in the morning and watch many many rats run around. Don't ask why I am not grossed out by it anymore. So our move was probably the biggest news of the week.
Old Apartment - I (her Mom) have had several nightmares about this place. I couldn't be happier that she is in a brand new apartment!
Spiral Staircase in the new apartment
The work is going so well! We now have 10 baptismal dates and we had 6 investigators at church yesterday! It was the best! We started teaching so many more new people and found a family that had previously been taught by the missionaries. THe santiago family. The mom doesn't really want anything to do with it, but all her kids want to. They walked with us to church yesterday and it was the greatest thing in the world. They will be getting baptized soon I am sure of it. There are a couple of baptismal dates for this month, but since they didn't come to church yesterday they can't be. THe only one that can is Jocelyn GOtotos. Mitch May's mom. She came yesterday and really wants to be baptized, but she doesn't feel like she can be because she has some debt to pay off. We will continue teaching her because she is so ready! We will help her realize she needs this now, and you don't have to be perfect. So many of the less active families that need to be preparing to get sealed in the temple came to church yesterday! What a joy! I am amazed every day by the incredible faith all of the people have here. We had FHE at the Alcantara's house this week. It is a part member family and GOSH THEY NEED TO BE BAPTIZED! 3 of the kids are, but the parents aren't. We are trying everything to get them to church. It was one of the first times that the whole family was together (photo) and we watched the restoration dvd. the spirit was there, and I pray that they were touched by it. We will extend a date for the family this next week. I am so lucky to be a missionary. Seeing people change is probably the greatest blessing you get as a missionary.
Transfer calls will happen this weekend! WHAT THE! Already. I won't be transferred, but there is a good chance my companion will. Guess we will have to see what the Lord wants! :) Thank you all for your continued support everyone. I love hearing from you!
View from her balcony
Lights on the ocean